Our friends at iFixIt purchased the new AirPods Max so they could X-ray and disassemble it.
We wanted to do more than just strip these Pods down to their Digital Crown, truly odd Lightning Port, and micron-scale screws. With time to really explore the space, we enlisted the help of Creative Electron to work them over with X-rays. Not only that, but we also took apart some semi-comparable Sony and Bose headsets, to see just how different Apple's (non-Beats) entry into the premium headphone market would be.
The teardown report concludes:
- With all their intricate, precision-engineered parts, AirPods Max remind us more of a mechanical watch than of any pair of headphones.
- Despite their complexity, and an earcup-opening procedure fraught with strange screws and adhesive, Apple's first over-ear headphones are actually quite serviceable—if you have all the tools and are willing to put in some work.
- We're thrilled to see DIY-friendly highlights like the easily-removable ear cushions and headband in an Apple product.
- And after tearing down some of the competition, we're more understanding of that $550 price tag. Sony and Bose both charge less, but internally, the AirPods Max's obsessive craftsmanship makes those other extremely capable devices look like toys by comparison.
- All that said, we're excited to award the first-ever non-zero repair score to an AirPods device…